A number of global companies are forcing the issue of creating a strong work/life balance within their workforce in an effort to avoid employee burnout, by putting policies in place to ensure that their employees genuinely switch off.
Software company Evernote
offers a US$1,000 bonus to any staff member that takes a full week of annual leave. In addition to their “vacation stipend,” the company also boasts an unlimited annual leave policy, along with “delicious catered meals, generous equity offers, high tea, athletics programs and more”.
Denver, Colorado-based startupFullContact
goes one step further. They not only offer unlimited leave, but they also furnish their employees with a hefty cash bonus for going on holidays.
“Once a year you can take a vacation that we not only pay you your salary for, but we also give you $7,500 to pay for your vacation. There is a catch: you must be off the grid, no emails, no calling work. ABSOLUTELY NO WORK,” their leave policy stated.
The incentive acts as a powerful recruitment tool for the company, but FullContact CEO Bart Lorang said it also creates a more seamless and productive team.
“If you know you won’t be available, you document things, share knowledge, have back-up plans. It makes the organisation [run] better,” he said.
You may be considering embracing a similar policy within your organisation, but you must be mindful of how it will work “in a team setting”, said senior HR practitioner Chris Dunwell, principal of Dunwell Consulting.
“Many of us are, in principle, in favour of flexible work arrangements that allow employees to create the personal work/life balance that works best for them,” Dunwell said.
“However, I suspect that most want to put known and firmly agreed parameters around this, otherwise planning and control becomes very difficult.”
Richard Branson recently jumped on the “unlimited leave” bandwagon, but these businesses have been innovating their leave policies for years.